Obtained from Kindle First program - Aug 2014 & I'd recommend checking it out if you're into YA-style magic.
Ceony Twill just graduated from TagisObtained from Kindle First program - Aug 2014 & I'd recommend checking it out if you're into YA-style magic.
Ceony Twill just graduated from Tagis Praff School for the Magically Inclined, and has been bound to an apprenticeship in Paper Magic, despite her desire to pursue metal magic. Her master, Magician Emery Thane, is a bit of an odd duck - but when a figure from his past comes to wreak havoc - Ceony finds herself on a quest to save her teacher's life.
While a bit whimsical to start with, I found both the world building and the plot quite interesting, and the characters engaging. It's a fun read overall & I'll probably keep an eye out for potential sequels, as it's billed as the first of a trilogy....more
Another reviewer called this novella fantasy dressed in sci-fi clothing, and I'd kind of agree. While I've seen other authors (Gaiman & PratchettAnother reviewer called this novella fantasy dressed in sci-fi clothing, and I'd kind of agree. While I've seen other authors (Gaiman & Pratchett come to mind) use the idea that a god's strength derives from its worshipers; Scalzi is the first I've seen to take the concept of "power" literally!
As the title implies, gods are used as the powerplants for spaceships, albeit under duress. A Higher Power keeps them captive, and usually complacent. But Captain Tephe is dealing with an obstreperous god, and finds his faith sorely tested.
I was fascinated with the world-building in this novella - and found myself wishing for more. The story itself was entertaining, once you buy into the conceits, and the characters were well-drawn. I found it interesting how one character is never identified by gender; Scalzi does a surprisingly good job of writing around the pronouns. Overall, an entertaining story. ...more
Started the audiobook version of this novel - It picks up right where Leviathanleft off - with Alek and Deryn onboard the the airship, bound for ConstStarted the audiobook version of this novel - It picks up right where Leviathanleft off - with Alek and Deryn onboard the the airship, bound for Constantinople on an unspecified mission.
Alan Cumming is the narrator once again and such a treat to listen to! The Austrian accents of Alek and his cohorts, Deryn's Scottish brogue (and slang - "Barking Spiders!" is my new favorite expletive!) and he's added an American to the mix. tho Eddie Malone sounds a bit 1930's film noir vs the actual timeline of the book (late 1914).
Once again, Alan Cumming is doing an amazing job as the narrator - The setting of Istanbul adds some intriguing elements to the story; both the real-life events (the theft/non-delivery of the Osman, for example) and the more fantastic, like the iron golems and mechanical war elephants. The Perspicacious Loris is a wonderful addition to the cast - can't wait till Alek and Deryn discover its potential!
Another pickup off the New Books shelf at the library - With my interest in post-apocalyptic fiction, I thought I'd see how Dartnell approaches how weAnother pickup off the New Books shelf at the library - With my interest in post-apocalyptic fiction, I thought I'd see how Dartnell approaches how we might pick up the pieces after a worldwide catastrophe. After addressing several common scenarios (meteorite, nuclear war, global warming) - he chooses the deadly epidemic scenario. He then proceeds to walk the reader thru how to rebuild society, starting with the necessities of food and shelter. He touches on quite a bit of history, and science in this realistic look at how we got to where we are now and how we might return to a similar lifestyle after an apocalypse.
While he refers repeatedly to this work being a "quick-start guide", it's more an overview than a step by step manual; a thought experiment versus a how to. Nonetheless, I quite enjoyed his well-researched exploration of humanity's trip towards technology and found his insights into what steps we might skip over next time quite intriguing. ...more
Spotted this on the library shelf and it sounded interesting. Complete with a lurid cover reminiscent of the classic 1950's EC Comics, this middle-graSpotted this on the library shelf and it sounded interesting. Complete with a lurid cover reminiscent of the classic 1950's EC Comics, this middle-grade book takes a look at all the stuff that is supposed to be bad for kids/teens (comic books, video games, skateboarding) and whether or not it really is. Surprisingly well researched, with many historical references, this engagingly illustrated and pleasantly snarky book would be a great resource for social studies teachers or anyone wanting to challenge what They Say....more
While this novel is as well-written as the first two in the trilogy, it just didn't quite grab me in the same way.
Maybe there was too much going on &While this novel is as well-written as the first two in the trilogy, it just didn't quite grab me in the same way.
Maybe there was too much going on & too many threads to wrap up from the first two novels. Not surprisingly, it was pretty bleak (duh - worldwide annihilation in about a week!) - I prefer at least a glimpse of hope in my apocalyptic/post-apocalyptic fiction. I did like the scenes set in the Amish community (if not how Hank got there in the first place).
I can see re-reading The Last Policeman, but am not sure I'll return to the other two novels - tho they were worth reading once....more
I saw this mentioned as a Kindle Daily Deal in July & checked it out of the library, as the topic sounded interesting.
While I enjoyed the biograpI saw this mentioned as a Kindle Daily Deal in July & checked it out of the library, as the topic sounded interesting.
While I enjoyed the biographical info on Franklin as well as some of the other individuals (David Rittenhouse sounds particularly interesting!), the text felt a bit dry and repetitive at times ... tho it might have been me. The notes and bibliography were very thorough, so Lyons definitely did his homework.
It just didn't quite grab me, but is probably worth the read if you're interested in the Enlightenment as well as the struggles & conflicts between the leading men of the early United States....more
Spotted on library's Graphic Novel shelf - checked it out, took it home & read thru it... well, "read" isn't quite the word, as the book is 95% viSpotted on library's Graphic Novel shelf - checked it out, took it home & read thru it... well, "read" isn't quite the word, as the book is 95% visual.
Based on the unproduced screenplay by Henson & Juhl, Ramon K Perez puts his own spin on the story of a man who is roped into a race across the Southwest desert, while pursued by various parties. It is surreal, with a plot that jumps from scene to scene, touching on themes of confusion and alienation. It's an interesting way to share this screenplay; and I think Jim would have enjoyed it. Worth at least a library read if you're a fan of Jim Henson's/Jerry Juhl's (and/or Ramon K Perez's) work.
Really enjoyed the audiobook version of this novel, courtesy of the local library. Will Patton also narrated Doctor Sleep and did an excellent versionReally enjoyed the audiobook version of this novel, courtesy of the local library. Will Patton also narrated Doctor Sleep and did an excellent version with that as well - his voice lends itself well to the protagonists on both these novels.
Bill Hodges is a Ret Det - retired police detective in a midsized northern Ohio city*. Divorced and estranged from his adult daughter, he spends too much time alone, with not much to look forward to. Until a letter with no return address arrives - a taunting confession from "the Mercedes killer" - an individual who, about 6 months previously, drove a stolen car into a crowd of job seekers, killing 8 people and wounding many more. Hodges was the lead detective on that open case, and this letter (intended to drive him into despair and possibly suicide) galvanizes him to try to track the perp (or as the letter writer phrases it - "perk") down.
I'm enjoying this new direction that Uncle Stevie is exploring - police procedural lite with an exploration of the all too real "monsters" that walk among us. The introduction job fair scene sucked me in; living in the Midwest Rust Belt - I saw how hard the recession hit around here and it rang pretty damn true.
While there are a few plot holes/conveniences - IMHO, King still spins a suspenseful tale with memorable characters. Brady Hartfield is truly creepy; reminded me a lot of Annie Wilkes. Jerome and Holly are also well-drawn and engaging. And I gotta wonder if Grandpa Steve has gotten dragged to a boyband concert - as his take on "Round Here" also seems very spot on! If you enjoyed Joyland, you might want to give this novel a whirl as well.
* one minor factual error - an event is said to have happened at "[time] Central Standard Time" - Ohio is in the Eastern time zone....more
Fan of author - not sure how I've overlooked this for so long! Really enjoyed The Caves of Steel (another classic SF novel I'd overlooked for years) aFan of author - not sure how I've overlooked this for so long! Really enjoyed The Caves of Steel (another classic SF novel I'd overlooked for years) and am looking forward to reading more stories sent in the same general universe. [later] Alas - I don't think the Foundation series is going to do it for me. I realize I may have to turn in my Sci-Fi fan card, but interstellar politics & the long game aren't really my thing; at least not without more memorable characters (something Asimov usually does well, IMHO).
If the Traders feature more in the sequels, I may give them a try - otherwise, I'll finish up the Robots trilogy (which I'm enjoying quite a bit more) with The Robots of Dawn....more
Thanks to Grrlbrarian over at the SMDB, I picked up this book from the library & am almost done.
It's a quick read - being a memoir about living iThanks to Grrlbrarian over at the SMDB, I picked up this book from the library & am almost done.
It's a quick read - being a memoir about living in a Scotland city with various feathered friends over the years - primarily Chicken, a rook, but also a talking magpie named Spike, and a crow named Ziki, as well as some odd psittacines and of course, the residents of the dovecote. It's all a bit cozy - Woolfson throws in some scientific background here & there and a few literary references as well. The artwork is a nice addition to the material.
Worth a read if you're into stories of people and their animal companions....more
Checked out The Invincible by Stanislaw Lem as my November Amazon Prime Lending Library book... Lem is an author I feel I should have read as a SF fanChecked out The Invincible by Stanislaw Lem as my November Amazon Prime Lending Library book... Lem is an author I feel I should have read as a SF fan, so am finally getting around to his works.
Is it just me, or is naming your starship Invincible kinda asking for it? Especially when you're heading toward an apparently lifeless planet on which another ship has already disappeared?
While the characters are pretty much one-dimensional standins, that's not what this novel is about. Rather, it's an exploration of a planet where organic life has been replaced (at least on land) by a form of robotic, inorganic life. There are some relatively exciting battle scenes that are well-drawn; and the gradual reveal of the robotic lifeforms is fascinating, as is the discovery of what happened to the missing ship and its crew.
I found myself wondering of any of the creative team on the recent film Big Hero 6 had read this novel, as the "microbots" in the movie act very similarly to those in the book; albeit the Regis III version being autonomous.
I enjoyed the novel and would recommend it if you're into SF tech; but don't see myself returning to it anytime soon. ...more